Hi, I’m Ilana Rashba. This is #WhyITeach.
For as long as I can remember, I have always enjoyed learning and teaching others.
When I first found out that I was going to be a sister, at four years old, I was ecstatic to have a “real student” other than my stuffed animals.
Little did my brother know at that time, he was my very first pupil and is now the reason why I do what I do.
I was always “that student” who absolutely loved school since academics came easily to me. I look back on my own schooling experience and I am truly filled with wonderful memories. I can pinpoint exactly which teachers challenged me, encouraged me, and shaped me into being the person I am today. I am one of the lucky ones. I loved school and school loved me.
I couldn’t imagine anyone not loving school in the way I did—except there was one; my brother had a very different relationship with school than I did. Sure, he never really put up a fight about going, but I know that for him school was challenging and a place where he didn’t feel good about himself.
As the older sister, I tried to help him and show him the ways that helped me, convinced that my way of learning would be successful for him. When they weren’t, I felt so defeated. I kept looking for different ways that would allow him to understand multiplication.
I realized that my brother, like many students, just needed the information presented in a different way. I thought about what my brother liked and suddenly it came to me.
The best way for my brother to understand the 7’s times tables was through thinking in terms of football touchdowns; a connection worked and stuck like glue! 9 years late, he now has a great relationship with school and is about to graduate from college—possibly with honors!
I teach to make a difference in all my students’ lives.
I teach to make connections with my students that will enhance their relationship with school.
I teach to make students excited about school and learning because I’ve personally seen the difference it can make.
Connect with me on KDP’s Educator Learning Network!